Elder abuse can be physical abuse or neglect, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, or financial abuse. These are crimes committed against victims who are age 65 or older. In Washington County there is a collaborative multidisciplinary team working to educate the community about elder abuse and to provide comprehensive services to victims of elder abuse and their families.
To report Elder Abuse or Neglect, call 503-640-3489 and ask for Adult Protective Services. Your name will be held in confidence. If someone is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
Elder Abuse Multidisciplinary Team
Washington County's Elder Abuse Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) was formalized in 2000. The team consists of members from the District Attorney's Office, the Oregon Department of Human Services, Washington County Mental Health, the county's Department of Aging and Veterans' Services, every law enforcement agency in the county, private lawyers, representatives from the Elder Safe program, and other community-based service programs. For the past 15 years, the team has collaborated on many levels, bringing coordinated services to individuals and working to better the response of the entire county to these very important cases.
District Attorney's Office Specialized Elder Abuse Prosecution Team
The Washington County District Attorney's Office has an Elder Abuse prosecution team. Five prosecutors are specially trained to handle all cases where a vulnerable adult is victimized. Most of those vulnerable adults are people 65 and older. The prosecutors and the victim advocate assigned to the cases are specially trained in areas including financial abuse, other fiduciary abuse, physical abuse and neglect, and sexual abuse. They are trained and experienced regarding the sensitive dynamic of a victim who may be reluctant to report or speak about abuse.
Examples of Elder Abuse Prosecutions in Washington County
The Elder Abuse cases prosecuted by the Washington County DA's office are extremely diverse. The cases range from simple theft, to complex physical and sexual abuse cases, to abuses of fiduciary duty and abuses of Power of Attorney. Perpetrators are often family members but can also be complete strangers. Often time, the victim in an Elder Abuse case is reluctant to report their abuse for a myriad of very understandable reasons.
Community Education and Involvement
Our team has spoken to many groups about elder abuse prosecution. The groups include the Washington County Domestic Violence Council, CPAs, police officers, other attorneys, Adult Protective Service workers, social workers and more. We have also participated in the legislative process in support of changes that benefit the protection of our vulnerable adults. See a list of our community presentations here.
Elder Safe helps victims aged 65 and older after a crime is reported to police and continues to help them through the criminal justice system. Based at the Sheriff's Office, Elder Safe collaborates with the District Attorney's Office and the Department of Disability, Aging and Veterans' Services and city police departments to coordinate services. Older crime victims may have disabilities that make it difficult for them to read legal documents or to travel independently to the courthouse. Elder Safe assures that the needs of victims and their families are met. Assistance tailored to the unique circumstance of each victim may include personal support, court advocacy, or help filling out forms.
(503) 846-6048 Elder Safe Program Brochure
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Washington County Abuse & Adult Protective Services
Washington County Circuit Court Restraining Order Services
Oregon Department of Human Services, Adult and Family Services
Oregon Department of Justice, Elder Abuse Services
Oregon Department of Justice, Consumer Protection - Medicaid Fraud Services